Monday, September 27, 2010

My personal opinions on avoiding stops and tickets and dealing with them when they happen

What follows are my opinions.  I'm neither a cop nor a lawyer - though I could play both on TV.  You are - as always - responsible for your actions -- so don't try to blame your troubles on me.

DennisIII's comments on my previous post provoked some thinking on this topic, and decided to make it a post instead of another comment.

Until a few weeks ago, it'd been a number of years since I had a speeding ticket - so long ago that they had no record of it, which helped me when I went to court on this one last week.  The Judge gave me "Probation Before Judgment", which means "no verdict, keep clean for a year and it never happened."  Get another ticket within a year, though - and they nail your for BOTH of them.

Further proving the whole exercise is about raising cash, almost ANYONE can get a PBJ - then must pay the full amount of the fine PLUS $25.50 as "court costs."  When I say "almost ANYONE can get a PBJ" I mean it -- the girl behind me had been driving less than a year and was popped doing 89 in a 50, and the cop even admitted he'd reduced her speed to avoid the reckless-driving charge -- but I digress...

The benefit to PBJ for me is - since there's no "guilty" verdict - no points and thus no getting raped by having my insurance premium double!

I asked for leniency on the fine - (I'm crippled, kid in college, etc) - and he cut the fine in half - but that's not really what this post was supposed to be about.


70 in a 55.  Bright, sunny, spring day.  The funny thing is that I was driving a road I drive almost daily, in the same vehicle, doing the same speed - and I usually drive right past the popo without a second look. 

This day - with my daughter in the car - I get pulled and ticketed.

I'm willing to bet it was because my daughter was in the car - he saw "teen girl" and figured that meant "teen boy driving."  Whatever...

Once he had pulled me over, he pretty much HAD to write me for something - though he could have given me a warning he didn't.  Odds are that he needed to write a bunch - while they have no "quotas" to meet, the number of tickets they write (IE: The amount of CASH they bring in) makes up a LARGE part of their "performance" review.  The difference between this and a "quota" is largely semantics, but this way actually encourages them to write EVEN MORE than a quota would...


Over the years, I've figured out what works FOR ME, AROUND HERE, to avoid being stopped.  You ain't me, you don't live here - so YMMV!

#1: Appearance! 

I'm a middle-aged white guy, clean cut, driving vehicles that aren't TOO old and are well-maintained, clean and waxed, and mostly un-modified.

Unfair as it is that has A LOT to do with it.  They tend to pick on the youngsters, and those driving beat-up or "stereotype" vehicles.  I've asked a couple cops about that and got the same answer - so I believe it's true:
"A young or poor-man will just pay the ticket - they can't afford to take the time to go fight it.

A guy like you will take a day from work - even if it costs him $500 - to try to beat a $50 ticket, so we tend to go after the kids and the beater-cars because they're less hassle."
What they DIDN'T say - but we all know is true - is that they're also more likely to turn a speeding-stop into a search/bust with the younger/poorer-looking folk as well - thus making them even MORE attractive.  If you're 18 and driving a Mercedes with 22" chromed spinners and a subwoofer rattling windows a mile away, you're on the "this should be fun" list as well.

The lesson?  If you're young, try to make your car seem as new as possible, and well maintained.  Don't draw attention to yourself with spoilers, stickers, coffee-can mufflers, etc.  Subdued colors are better as well, for the same reasons.

Camouflage!  Try to fit in!!

This also has to do with your driving.  If I can find a bunch doing 80 on the highway, I'll jump right in the middle and roll!  Even passing people - provided you're doing it at a steady speed, and not driving erratically or dangerously - jumping lanes, swerving or cutting people off - you're usually OK.

If the limit is over 35, I ROUTINELY do ~15 over - at 35 or below, around here, you'd better stick to the limit or you WILL get nailed.

In other words:

  • 25=25
  • 30=30
  • 35 sorta depends -- could be 35 or up to 50
  • 45=60, and on up I routinely add 14 or 15 - PROVIDED it's safe for me to do so.
It really is all about fitting in, and not drawing attention to yourself.

Don't hang out in the fast lane.  Don't drive erratic.  Don't make your car into a giant "please screw with me!" sign by tacking on a bunch of crap that says "I like to race!!" or "I'm a social deviant"!


The biggest tip I give everyone - even if they CAN'T afford a new*ER*-looking car is that if you see a cop, don't slam on your brakes.  He's already nailed you speeding by the time you see him, and slamming on your brakes is a suspicious act -- makes it look like you're afraid or have something to hide.  As with all predators, this simply kicks in their "chase" instincts.

If I see him, there's no point in slowing, I just ride.

If I'm close enough to him when I pass, I'll give him a little nod and wave - or a salute - as I keep on driving.  I've even had 'em come up behind me and stay there for a while before finally changing lanes to pass me and going on their way.


So you've done everything right and still gotten pulled.


Stay calm.
Pull over IN A SAFE PLACE - if you can't safely stop where you are, then slow down and turn on your flashers, but keep driving until you can get over in a safe spot.
Car in park, turn off engine, window down, hands on wheel.  If it's dark, turn on your interior light.

This is THE #1 most dangerous point in a cop's day, and he's going to be on edge - you don't want to get shot, so don't do anything to freak him out.

Sit there, and STFU. I don't ask "why did you stop me" or anything else - I don't want to be seen as "confrontational."  STFU.

When he ASKS FOR IT, *THEN* I get him your my License/Reg./Ins. info, etc.

I say "My Lic. is in my wallet, which is in my left-rear pocket. May I get it out?  Then I do it.

"My Reg. is in my glove-compartment - May I open it?"

I open glove box then sit back - "My reg. is in the black folder - may I get it out?"

No furtive moves, no misunderstandings. I don't want to die today.

Eventually he'll tell me why he stopped me -- again, arguing will not help, so STFU.

DO NOT offer *ANY* info - just STFU.

Be prepared - as in my previous post - to handle "I don't wish to ..." "I do not consent to..." -- but here too it is CRITICAL to be as polite as humanly possible.  Disrespect will not help you - he's already going to be ticked because you blocked or questioned his "authoriteh" -- don't make it worse by being an @$$.



Friday, September 24, 2010

A TEXTBOOK Case: How *NOT* to Handle Being Stopped by Police...

I don't have time to write this whole post ATM, but will (hopefully) be back to top it off in the AM.
In the meantime, check out THIS POST at WRS: Warning -- the burning stoopid (on the part of the Patriot) and all-too-typical @$$hattery (on the part of the pig++) **WILL** do battle in your head, and may lead to spontaneous cranial explosion.

More to come...

As promised, here goes.

I found THIS POST at WRS which links to THIS POST at RTC.



I'll wait.

OK -- Are you with me?


I'm going to keep this as short and sweet as I can.

BEFORE I GO ON, the usual "IANAL, YMMV, ETc..." disclaimers apply!

As we (my Wife and I) were travelling through Tennessee, we were stopped by a Tennessee State Trooper (Officer Michael Loftis, Badge #331), because the tinting of the windows on our vehicle was too dark.
After checking my license, registration and insurance and verifying that they were up to date, Officer Loftis then asked with no probable cause, if I had any drugs or weapons in the car.

I told Him no drugs, but that I did have a pistol in a locked box, locked in the trunk of the car. Officer Loftis asked me if I had a permit for the pistol, and I said No, that permits were not necessary in Colorado except for the CCW. His response was that we weren’t in Colorado, we were in Tennessee and that in Tennessee, permits for handguns were required. (Permits to “CARRY” handguns are required in Tennessee-but there are NO permits required to POSSESS handguns, rifles or shotguns in Tennessee).

I told him I did not wish to answer any questions, told him that I would like to have an attorney present before any further questioning, and asked if I was being detained. He said I was NOT being detained, to which I asked "then am I free to go?"

He tried the usual intimidation tactics ("You can answer my questions here or downtown, after I arrest you") and cajoling ("If you have nothing to hide, then what's the problem?")

I just repeated myself then STFU.

"I don't wish to answer any questions.

Am I being detained?

Am I free to go?

I don't wish to answer any questions.

I prefer to remain silent, and want an attorney present before any further questioning.

Am I being detained?

Am I free to go?"

Officer Loftis then told me to exit the vehicle and open the trunk. After I complied and opened the trunk, Officer Loftis could plainly see that it was EXACTLY as I had said. Officer Loftis then told me to unlock the guncase and then told me to step away from the vehicle. I informed Him that the reciept for the pistopl was in the guncase and I reminded Him that no permits are required in Colorado exept for the CCW.

I asked if he was ORDERING me out of the car, or if I had the right to stay where I was. He said it was an order. I asked if I was being detained, he said no.

I asked if I was free to go, he said no - and repeated his order to step out of the vehicle and open the trunk.

I stepped out of the vehicle as ordered - locking the keys inside(**) - and said





Officer Loftis asked me where I was coming from,
and I told Him Washington DC. Officer Loftis asked me, “What the heck would you want to go there for?” So, I explained to Him that I work for a radio station (Freedomizer Radio), and that we were covering the Tea Party Rally in Washington DC on April 15th, and the 2nd Amendment Rally at Gravelly Point, Virginia on April 19th. Officer Loftis then asked, “Oh, you mean that park that’s right across the Potomac from Washington?”

And I answered with “Yes.”



Officer Loftis then asked me “Why would you take a handgun to an event like that?”

And I answered
” the 2nd Amendment Rally at Gravelly Point was an ‘open-carry’ rally, and since I believe in the 2nd amendment, even though I was with the press, covering the rally, I wanted to show my support to the participants, by wearing my firearm as well, but that the handgun NEVER entered Washington DC, It stayed in Virginia which is an ‘open-carry’ State”




Officer Loftis then took the guncase and it’s contents back to his car to check it out.




Aw, hell.


Look, People -- it's really ****ing SIMPLE.  Even my daughter's psychotic, brain-damaged cat is now looking at me, asking "WTF, DD -- do you think they're idiots?



(3) "AM I FREE TO GO?"



While I know - in the depths of my heart - that this gentleman is a Patriot,


HE is responsible for what happened to him.

THE PIG (++) IS NOT TO BLAME for this man losing his guns - or anything else that happened here.







Yes, I know "the pig shouldn't have..."



Pigs are pigs.

Pigs do what pigs do because they are pigs.

You cannot blame a pig for being a pig - but if you let him slop mud and s*** all over your living room -- AS THIS PATRIOT DID -- is it fair to blame the pig?


You blame the idiot who left the door open - who invited the pig in the house and told him to help himself to whatever he wanted, who did nothing to prevent the pig from being a pig.

Pete over at WRSA has already linked 2 VERY important vids IN THIS POST HERE, (PART 1 and PART 2)

Even MORE important - for these situations - is this vid from the ACLU: "Busted: The Citizen's Guide to Surviving Police Encounters" The vid says they have a new version ("10 Rules for Dealing With Police") - I haven't watched it yet so I can't say any more about it.  <<EDIT: Worth the time, but the "Citizen's Guide" is better.>>





ROLE-PLAY - especially with teens - UNTIL EVERYONE GETS IT DOWN.





Don't be an idiot, and remember that pigs can't help being pigs.

Had this Patriot simply asserted his rights from the beginning, and STUCK TO IT, he'd have been on down the road with - at most - a warning for his window-tint.  TN can't make a CO resident remove tint from their windows, so that would have been it.


(++) I have some friends - Brothers, really - who also happen to be Peace Officers.  They are not pigs.  Anyone who doesn't know the difference is either a pig themselves, or has been living under a rock for ~40 years.  'Nuff said.

** I keep a spare door-key hidden on my car - any intelligent person should be able to figure out how to do this. I've never needed a tool to unlock my car, and nobody has ever found it. THINK!!

PS:  Vids embedded here...

(note: click on the vid - Parts 2-4 will be found in the "related" at the side...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Memories of 9/11 - and the rage that follows...

Since Blogger's "preview" is useless, I usually have to go through several cycles of post/edit/post/edit/post/ed... -- before I finally get a post "right."  It's too late, I am too tired, it's not going to happen.

Please - therefore - try to ignore any spelling/grammar/formatting/punctuation/whatever errors - if I can find the time and energy I'll fix them later.

I hope this is worth the trouble...

BTW - most of the "...quotes..." below are my best recollection, but some are so seared in my mind that I'll never forget them.  If they're not specifically marked as the latter, they're the former...

9 years later.

Can it really have been that long?

There's simply no way I can TOUCH Vanderleun's eloquence - and I wasn't in NYFC that horrible day - nor did I lose any family or loved-ones like CA - but I too have memories that will never leave me.

Before I go on, I probably should explain that though our company was largely unknown, it held a position of serious criticality for all telecom in all of North America!  I still can't understand why it wasn't a .gov agency, but it wasn't.  It WAS however literally make-or-break for an entire CONTINENT.  If we were destroyed, NOTHING could happen!

I'd flown out of Dulles Airport the day before - having gone there to meet a bunch of others from my company so we could fly together - ONE DAY before a similar American Airlines flight was hijacked and flown into the Pentagon. We were headed for Chicago, to a "tech conference" where all of our company's "biggest-of-the-big-heads" would be attending.

Most of us had pocket-knives ranging from 4-7 inches, mine was just shy of six, and my "leatherman" type tool was in my other pocket. No problem on 9-10, but on 9/12?? Right.

Anyhow, we'd arrived in Chicago the evening of 9/10, and - as is usually the case at such events - stayed up way to late in The Lounge consuming too much ETOH. As a result, not having done much drinking in too many years - I wasn't feeling too tough in the morning and didn't turn on my TV as I prepared for the day.

As I exited our hotel, I met up with our "head of security" - a youngish, VERY intense former SEAL named Paul - who said something along the lines of "Can you BELIEVE THAT S**T??!! GAME ON!!!!"


"Weren't you watching TV? TWO planes hit the WTC in NYFC!!"


As what he'd said began to filter through my formaldehyde-fogged brain, the import began to settle in...  Though I'd been feeling mildly nauseous before, now I was much more so.  It didn't help that my companion kept repeating --



We arrived at our "meeting space" where the CEO and the rest of Mahogany-Row insisted we proceed as planned.

I pounded juice and water, which combined with adrenaline quickly brought me out of the fog...

Our huge Auditorium opened into a large glassed-in atrium-type area, whose roof was also glass so you had a full, if neck-straining, view of the full height of the Sears Tower less across and just down the street.

I tried to concentrate on the conference, but - IT Security (physical and otherwise) being a large part of my responsibility - kept getting IMs from our DC & NY locations and FWDs of others from Paul.  The rumors were FLYING -- but we had no way to be sure they were rumors at the time.

"Another plane hit the Pentagon!"

"Car-bombs at the Capitol-building, State Dept and SCOTUS!"

"Bombs on Wall Street!"

Bombs at the FCC, and Agriculture! (Don't ask me - that's what they said...)

I eventually snuck out, looking for Paul.  WWIII was beginning, and we had to DO SOMETHING!!

I found him in the Lobby, as concerned as I was, having read the same IMs.  He wrote a note, I went inside and handed it to the CEO - who rolled his eyes and informed me "we're not going to worry about what's happening in NYFC, you need to concentrate on what's happening HERE."  and dismissed me with an imperious wave.

Stunned, I went back to Paul, and the 2 of us fumed for a bit, strategizing how we could get the attention of Management. 

During a small break, we tried to buttonhole the CEO again, but were told - with some vehemence and anger this time - "I DON'T CARE.  We're here to accomplish some things, and we're GOING to accomplish them!"

I realized then that he had NO IDEA what was happening - he knew some planes had crashed in NYFC, but that was it.

Paul and I returned to the Lobby, still chewing on the whole thing - then we went back to trying to find news updates.

Naturally, every news-site on he 'net was SWAMPED, and it took dozens of "refresh" attempts or more to get a page to even partially load, so and I was hitting CNN and Paul was trying some local affiliates hoping they wouldn't be getting slammed so hard.

After a few minutes, Paul yells "Holy S**T!!" and was out of his seat before I could even turn around.  He slapped my laptop closed and plopped his on top of it - showing me a page that said there was at least one plane still in the air, and it was believed to be headed for the Sears Tower!

Now we - somehow, without speaking - agreed that if it cost us our jobs we were going to get this stupid CEO's attention.  The TWO of us marched to the front, and Paul - did I mention he was pushing 6'6" or more? - quietly told the CEO we could do this the easy way or the hard way, but he WAS coming to the Lobby to speak with us.

He followed us out, and I shut up as Paul attempted to make him understand, but seemed to be getting nowhere.  By this time, my rage and concern had reached a point that I no longer cared about my job, so I bodily spun him around and said

"Look!  You see that gigantic f***ing black building right there?  The one that's bigger than the WTC by a significant margin?  The one who - if a BASEBALL goes through a window is going to drop gigantic pieces of plate-glass on your empty-@$$ HEAD??!!

THAT is the Sears Tower - the BIGGEST G*D-D**NED building on the PLANET, and an even BETTER target for people looking to collapse buildings."

I grabbed him by his lapel, and said "FOLLOW ME!" - heading for the auditorium door, somewhat bodily dragging him along.  I threw the door open...

"You see THAT?  **THAT** is 99% of the brain-power in your whole f***king COMPANY.  If even HALF of these people were killed or quit, YOU ARE OUT OF BUSINESS!"

I then dragged him back across the lobby to where our laptops were sitting.  I pointed to Paul's screen...




He stood, stunned, for long seconds -- apparently I'd gotten his attention.

He was perhaps overwhelmed for a bit - I watched his sudden awareness, and his sore @$$ (from the reaming I'd just delivered) do battle with his "I'm the BIG BOSS!" mentality for a bit before he visibly shrank, took a deep breath, and said "Alright, what do we need to do."

"FIRST thing, we need to get these people OUT OF HERE.  Tell them to FIRST catch up with the other(s) with whom they share knowledge, skills and duties - only long enough to make sure they DO NOT leave together.  We'll then split them into 2 rough groups as they leave.  Give us a minute, and we'll plan separate routes back to our hotel for the groups, and find a couple of capable people to lead each group.

By the time you're done with your announcement, we SHOULD be ready to go, but just in case don't tell them to leave until you see Paul or Me at the door waving you on! 

When you're done with that, come back to us with whatever other Maho... er... 'Leadership' folk you think appropriate and we'll plan next steps."

He didn't argue at all, he just nodded, spun on his heel and headed for the podium.

I looked at Paul, and said "We REALLY need to get these people out of DOWNTOWN -- at LEAST into the SUBURBS!  He agreed, and decided we'd lead off with that when Mr. CEO returned - but at the moment we needed to get moving.  I went to my LT to look at maps and plan 2 routes, then to write them down on a legal-pad since we had no printer.  Paul went into the back of the auditorium, waited the long moments until the speaker handed over to the CEO, then spoke up and called "STAT!" for 4 guys who we knew were tough, smart and level-headed.  He also told the CEO to proceed as planned, we'd be ready by the time he was finished with his announcement.

The Guys jogged out, and in just seconds we told them "We have to split, then double-time these people back to the hotel.  We will explain later, but this is URGENT.  We need 2 to walk at the head of a group, and 2 to hang back and help direct the lemmings that are about to pour out that door."

The CEO made his announcement, and people began asking questions instead of moving.  To his credit, the CEO firmly said "Talk later, MOVE NOW!"

We managed to get our 4 guys in position just seconds before the people started pouring out.  Paul and I began repeating "make sure you're NOT walking with your 'twin', people -- need half to go left, and the other half right -- just follow the guy standing in the doorway!"

We also took up positions near the exit to ensure that people we knew were separating and not traveling in a bunch - directing some individuals in such groups to one line or the other.  The other guys at the doors were telling them "just follow the guys ahead of you!"

We got a few calls from the "walk leaders", and decided to take over the restaurant in the hotel as it would still be closed for a bit, then asked one of the VPs who dealt with such things to get us a conference room -- preferably in the basement -- at the hotel ASAP.  Have our people help set up chairs and tables if needed, but get them into as much shelter as possible ASAP.

When we finally got everyone out, the VPs were all pretty upset.  Paul - being higher than (but not "above") me on the org-chart - took over, after making it clear to all that I was to chime in at will.

We first explained the crisis - and the obvious need for US to get the f*** out of here ASAP - then repeated that we needed to get our people - or at least (the RIGHT) HALF of them - out of this city ASAP.

One - who was FROM Chicago - said he knew of a charter-bus service.  Paul and I told him "Call them NOW", then caught ourselves and looked to Mr. CEO.  He chuckled, and said "for the duration,Paul's in charge."


So, with one VP looking up some charter-busses, the next thing was to find at least 2 hotels to put people in - preferably separated by several miles (minimum) for better survivability.  Another VP went to work on that through the company "travel office."

Next we agreed that we needed all managers to meet us on our arrival at the hotel - and that we could finish the rest of this on our way - so we headed out.  Someone (me?) called to ask "the guys" to ensure everyone remained in the ballroom and didn't take off for their rooms, and to set up a space for our "managers' meeting".

On the way we discussed what to do about getting all these people home - it was by then news that all planes were grounded, and we all expected they'd be grounded indefinitely. 

We also needed to consider feeding them, some creature-comforts on the way, etc, and a bunch of other minutia that would need to be dealt with.  We agreed to meet later, after the "Managers' meeting" to hash it out.

At the managers' meeting, we gave them all a rundown on the situation, and our plans.  We made them understand that it was POSSIBLE - though not probable - that some, half (or ALL) of our people could die, and that it was CRITICAL that we split up our brain-power as much as possible.  NOBODY with similar knowledge and skills could be allowed to travel together, the goal was to ensure that if one bus was destroyed, the people on another could keep our business afloat.

We all agreed that in the cases where all the people were from the same place, thus needing to be on the same bus, that some of each would be bussed to a different city, put up in comfort and flown home first-class when possible -- all at company expense.

Managers having agreed to handle the bus-assignments, busses chartered for the duration, the company "travel office" ready to make arrangements for anyone being displaced, we quickly sorted out the "comforts" stuff.

We decided the busses would stop at the nearest Wal Mart, and  the company would reimburse up to $30 per person for whatever they needed to make the trip less brutal.  We suggested pillows, blankets, snacks, etc.  There'd be a big cooler with ice and various drinks, and we'd be stopping for meals so  no need to worry about those.

 By this time, someone had brought in a TV on a steel cart, and we all got our first views of the damage in DC and NYFC.  I vividly remember the horror as we saw (in replay) the plane hit the 2nd tower, and how much worse it was when we saw the towers fall.

I remember 2 things most vividly - as if they'd just happened.  Unlike my other quotations - which are approximate and to the best of my recollection - these two are 100% VERBATIM.

First, when I saw the towers fall, I jumped to my feet and said "THAT WAS AN IMPLOSION!!  THAT MEANS EXPLOSIVES!!"

Paul - former SEAL who certainly knew a bit about demolitions - agreed.  I'm not saying I STILL believe that - the logistics of rigging those buildings while continuing business-as-usual just aren't feasible IMHO - but that was my impression at the time.

My second proclamation was - sadly - much more accurate.  "This is the END of the US as we've known it.  Those bastards just MURDERED Lady Liberty."

Every day since, I've wished I'd been wrong.

The trip home was TORTURE - those busses were made for day-trips, not 1500-mile, cross-country marathons.  We stopped 3 times a day for meals - usually "rest-area" "food courts", and otherwise drove straight through.  It took us roughly 36 hours to get to our DC office.  Everyone was safe, and eventually made it home.

Of course, as we now know, Flight 93 went into the dirt near Shanksville, PA.  There remains - even now - much speculation about where it was heading, but you need only look at what it DID in the air to see that Chicago wasn't outside possibility -- and IMHO (based on its flight path) the Sears tower was much more likely than the White-House to have been its target.

I then tried to get my rental-car -- and thus the rest of my belongings -- out of the "long-term" area at Dulles.  A co-worker shared a cab with me as his car was there too.  When we turned into the parking area, we immediately met a road-block where they'd placed concrete sections of jersey-wall and a "lift bar" to prevent our just weaving around them.

A man in a black trench coat and pants, white shirt and black tie was -- oddly -- the one manning the gate.  He approached our car to say "Turn it around - lot's CLOSED."  Our middle-eastern cabbie was ready to roll, but I wasn't.

"Yessir - I just need to get my car..."

"The LOT is CLOSED!  Turn it around..."

"I'm sorry sir - I'm not helping you to understand -- my car is..."

Tired of dealing with morons, he pulled back his trench-coat and gripped the grip on his Uzi - thankfully not pointing it, but making it d**n clear that was next - as he said "No... YOU are the one who apparently doesn't underSTAND!



I smiled and said "I UNDERSTAND!" - but had to shout it because Cabbie had slammed into reverse and hit the gas as soon as he realized what was under the coat.

We turned around -- the lot was closed!!

This meant I had to rent ANOTHER car to get to my lodgings - and it was (IIRC) 3 weeks before they let the cars out of the lot.  I ended up having a co-worker from the DC office get and return the car for me, and ship my stuff.

Paul and I were eventually recognized as "employees of the quarter" for the steps we'd taken to alert management and plan/help lead evacuation.  This being the second time I'd been involved in saving the company from a MAJOR loss, I also gained a lot of respect from most of those on Mahogany row - though in the process a few somehow decided to be my enemy instead -- all stories for another time...

If you've read this far, my point with this missive was to show how my life - and ~250 others - was impacted on that day.  The real impact went on for weeks, but the psychological impact - like Vanderleun and countless others - will be with me for the rest of my life.

I was TERRIFIED for my wife and kids - and utterly impotent at such a great distance to do ANYTHING other than call and try to warn Wifey.

Of course, all the rumors about bombs - car and otherwise - proved to be unfounded, part of the fog of war, yet my eyes were opened as never before.  I'd always WANTED to "prep" - talked about it a lot - but never really thought it necessary before that day, at least not necessary enough to get serious about it.  We'd managed to get a month or so ahead on the groceries - and I've always had the guns-and-ammo - but otherwise we'd have been caught flat-footed had the S really HTF for us then.

It also brought home - in an unmistakeable way - how serious even a frivolous "party" trip (like I'd expected this one to be) could actually be.

Like most others, I too ground my teeth in rage on that day - and in the days to follow - wanting RETRIBUTION.  Let's make a bunch of desert glass!!

To be honest, I wanted Dubya to nuke Mecca - and frankly still wish he had - along with the rest of Saudi Arabia.  Afghanistan?  Sure - some of them trained there, but the place was basically stone-age to begin with, rendering "let's bomb 'em back to the stone-age" a pretty moot point.

Vaporize Mecca however, and - though it would unquestionably produce some "islamic rage" - you'd have sowed some MAJOR seeds of doubt among the death-cult's adherents.  If Allah cannot protect his holiest shrine, then what CAN he do?  I believe they'd have begun to have some serious doubts...

As it turned out, we talked a lot of crap, but then pretty much got fought to a standstill by a bunch of rag-tag Insurgents.  When we leave either country, they'll be no more "advanced" than they were when we went in, and given our idiotic _resident's idiotic ROE and even more idiotic decisions to - of all things - "work with" the Taliban?  In their minds - and most Afghans' as well - this means THEY WON!  THEY defeated "the great satan" and the shouts of "allahu akhbar" will echo for a century or more.

They're not defeated, they're EMBOLDENED.

Turn Mecca into glass?  THAT would have shown them the might of their "Great Satan" and the impotence of their "god."

Sadly, it's too late to do anything about it THERE, but I believe the impact is still viable on THE REAL America.

We're just getting started.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Fifteen Principles...

I found this on a "Freeper" page dedicated to LDS topics.

It is apparently the work of Mr. Ezra Taft Benson, who has contributed much good work to the Patriot and Constitutionalist lexicon -- just search YouTube for his name to find some speeches that - but for their obvious '60s appearance - could have been given today.

Though I'm not an LDS, these "principles" seem to me to be universal.

For those who may not believe in G*d, please substitute "The Moral Law" or other appropriate verbiage -- these really ARE universal!

Fifteen Principles Which Make For

Good And Proper Government
As an Independent American for constitutional government I declare that:
(1) I believe that no people can maintain freedom unless their political institutions are founded upon faith in God and belief in the existence of moral law.

(2) I believe that God has endowed men with certain unalienable rights as set forth in the Declaratioth in the Declaration of Independence and that no legislature and no majority, however great, may morally limit or destroy these; that the sole function of government is to protect life, liberty, and property and anything more than this is usurpation and oppression.

(3) I believe that the Constitution of the United States was prepared and adopted by men acting under inspiration from Almighty God; that it is a solemn compact between the peoples of the States of this nation which all officers of government are under duty to obey; that the eternal moral laws expressed therein must be adhered to or individual liberty will perish.

(4) I believe it a violation of the Constitution for government to deprive the individual of either life, liberty, or property except for these purposes:     (a) Punish crime and provide for the administration of justice;
     (b) Protect the right and control of private property;
     (c) Wage defensive war and provide for the nation's defense;
     (d) Compel each one who enjoys the protection of government to bear his fair share of the burden of performing the above functions.

(5) I hold that the Constitution denies government the power to take from the individual either his life, liberty, or property except in accordance with moral law; that the same moral law which governs the actions of men when acting alone is also applicable when they act in concert with others; that no citizen or group of citizens has any right to direct their agent, the government to perform any act which would be evil or offensive to the conscience if that citizen were performing the act himself outside the framework of government.

(6) I am hereby resolved that under no circumstances shall the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights be infringed. In particular I am opposed to any attempt on the part of the Federal Government to deny the people their right to bear arms, to worship and pray when and where they choose, or to own and control private property.

(7) I consider ourselves at war with international Communism which is committed to the destruction of our government, our right of property, and our freedom; that it is treason as defined by the Constitution to give aid and comfort to this implacable enemy.

(8) I am unalterably opposed to Socialism, either in whole or in part, and regard it as an unconstitutional usurpation of power and a denial of the right of private property for government to own or operate the means of producing and distributing goods and services in competition with private enterprise, or to regiment owners in the legitimate use of private property.

(9) I maintain that every person who enjoys the protection of his life, liberty, and property should bear his fair share of the cost of government in providing that protection; that the elementary principles of justice set forth in the Constitution demand that all taxes imposed be uniform and that each person's property or income be taxed at the same rate.

(10) I believe in honest money, the gold and silver coinage of the Constitution, and a circulation medium convertible into such money without loss. I regard it as a flagrant violation of the explicit provisions of the Constitution for the Federal Government to make it a criminal offense to use gold or silver coin as legal tender or to use irredeemable paper money.

(11) I believe that each State is sovereign in performing those functions reserved to it by the Constitution and it is destructive of our federal system and the right of self-government guaranteed under the Constitution for the Federal Government to regulate or control the States in performing their functions or to engage in performing such functions itself.

(12) I consider it a violation of the Constitution for the Federal Government to levy taxes for the support of state or local government; that no State or local government can accept funds from the Federal and remain independent in performing its functions, nor can the citizens exercise their rights of self-government under such conditions.

(13) I deem it a violation of the right of private property guaranteed under the Constitution for the Federal Government to forcibly deprive the citizens of this nation of their nation of their property through taxation or otherwise, and make a gift thereof to foreign governments or their citizens.

(14) I believe that no treaty or agreement with other countries should deprive our citizens of rights guaranteed them by the Constitution.

(15) I consider it a direct violation of the obligation imposed upon it by the Constitution for the Federal Government to dismantle or weaken our military establishment below that point required for the protection of the States against invasion, or to surrender or commit our men, arms, or money to the control of foreign or world organizations of governments.

These things I believe to be the proper role of government.

We have strayed far afield. We must return to basic concepts and principles - to eternal verities. There is no other way.

The storm signals are up. They are clear and ominous.

As Americans - citizens of the greatest nation under Heaven - we face difficult days. Never since the days of the Civil War - 100 years ago - has this choice nation faced such a crisis.

In closing I wish to refer you to the words of the patriot Thomas Paine, whose writings helped so much to stir into a flaming spirit the smoldering embers of patriotism during the days of the American Revolution:

"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it NOW, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.

Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; 'tis dearness only that gives everything its value.

Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed, if so celestial and article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated."
I intend to keep fighting. My personal attitude is one of resolution - not resignation.

I have faith in the American people. I pray that we will never do anything that will jeopardize in any manner our priceless heritage. If we live and work so as to enjoy the approbation of a Divine Providence, we cannot fail. Without that help we cannot long endure.

All Right-Thinking Americans Should Now Take Their Stand

So I urge all Americans to put their courage to the test. Be firm in our conviction that our cause is just. Reaffirm our faith in all things for which true Americans have always stood.

I urge all Americans to arouse themselves and stay aroused. We must not make any further concessions to communism at home or abroad. We do not need to. We should oppose communism from our position of strength for we are not weak.

There is much work to be done. The time is short. Let us begin - in earnest - now and may God bless our efforts, I humbly pray.


As I said, I am not an LDS, and frankly have some significant reservations about their theology, but there seems to be a universal Patriotism and Constitutionalism in their adherents - not to mention their "prepper" philosophy - that makes me pray that G*d will bless me to be surrounded by them when That Awful Day finally comes...